Bruce McKean

Bruce McKean

Papua-New Guinea


Bruce McKean was impressed when the Royal Bank turned him down for a job and has banked with it ever since. Instead he volunteered with CUSO, teaching in the Highlands of Papua-New Guinea from 1971 to 1973.

From there Bruce joined the Department of External Affairs (now Global Affairs Canada) and had postings in India, Thailand and Egypt. In 1983 he moved to Energy Mines and Resources (now Natural Resources Canada) and, in 1995, out of the government altogether. Bruce then worked for the nickel industry, doing product stewardship and social responsibility both as an employee and a consultant.

Bruce has a keen interest in sustainability, social investment and enterprise. He served on the Board of Directors of The Natural Step, an Ottawa-based NGO that works with organizations to make meaningful progress toward sustainability and thrive within nature’s limits. Bruce also served as the first Board Chair of Shopify at a time when “it didn’t mean anything to be Chair of Shopify.”

“Returned Volunteers will often say ‘I got more out of it than I gave’ and that is true at a personal level,” reflects Bruce. “But I think we collectively left our own marks on thousands of individuals even if we will rarely know how the ripples of our contributions continued in their lives and communities.”

Bruce is now heavily involved in mental health research in a number of institutions: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto, The Royal Ottawa Hospital Foundation for Mental Health and Research, and the Romeo Dallaire Child Soldier Initiative in Halifax. And with Cuso International Bruce has now come full circle and serves on its Board of Directors.